Dave McAuley: Carl Frampton can be a huge star in the States
Cal Frampton has the potential to become one of the most marketable fighters in the world, according to Northern Ireland boxing legend Dave McAuley.
McAuley has closely watched the Tigers Bay man progress to the status of IBF World super-bantamweight champion and is keen to see him fulfill his potential Stateside - starting with Frampton's second title defence against Alejandro Gonzalez on July 18 in El Paso, Texas.
Frampton is dipping his toe into the American waters for the first time as a professional against 22-year-old Gonzalez, whose dad is a former WBC World featherweight champion.
With the CBS network screening the clash this is a golden chance for the Jackal to show his potential as a major attraction on both sides of the Pond.
Former World flyweight king McAuley said: "This is a great stage for Carl to be on and I really hope he grabs it because an exciting win in Texas could open the doors to really big money.
"I believe he has the potential to be a pay-per-view fighter in America so this fight is very important, it's his first big chance to show the Americans how good he is and also how big he could be. Make no mistake, the Americans are harsh critics so Carl will have to deliver in style against this guy in order to really grab their attention.
"The way he beat Chris Avalos last time at the Odyssey was a special performance and another performance like that is just what he needs against Conzalez."
Frampton's clash with Gonzalez will be screened in the afternoon in Texas, probably around 3pm, which means the Jackal will also have the opportunity of a prime time slot on UK television.
Frampton's American tie-up with powerbroker Al Haymon has paved the way for his United States debut and former champion McAuley believes there could be a series of lucrative fights down the line - and he hopes one of those battles is with unbeaten British rival Scott Quigg.
"If all goes to plan for Frampton on July 18 then you could see him in some very big fights because there are some very exciting fighters at super-bantamweight and featherweight," added McAuley.
"Of course everyone in Britain wants to see him fight Quigg and that's probably still the biggest pay day so I hope that still happen but Carl would start as a clear favourite.
"Quigg fights the same night as Carl and Gonzalez when he faces Kiko Martinez and that's not an easy fight for Quigg at all, although I do think Quigg will have the edge.
"It's a long time since the Americans really got excited about a fighter from here but I think they'll really take to Frampton because he's a good lad and he can really fight."
Meanwhile, Jamie Conlan will defend his WBO Intercontinental strap against Mexican opponent Junior Granados on July 4th in Dublin. Conlan will top the bill at the National Stadium against Granados who has a record of 13 wins, two defeats and one draw.